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TSA’s Top 100 of 2011 – #17 RAGE

Freak frenzy.

If we were to gauge anticipation based on legacy, id Software’s RAGE would be number one on this list, with few companies able to match id’s long and groundbreaking pedigree. You could spend hours arguing – and it’s the Internet, where being argumentative is almost the de rigueur demeanour one should portray at all times – whether or not Wolfenstein 3D was the first FPS. Argue away, no one is listening. The fact is: Wolfenstein 3D was the first FPS that mattered. Medal of Honor, SystemShock, Deus Ex, GoldenEye, Half-Life, Unreal Tournament – all games that id Software can safely say: “Thanks to us.”

Since its reveal at QuakeCon in 2007 there has been a steady stream of RAGE news and, in some cases, controversy. Depending on the month in question, RAGE either looks better on the PS3 or on the Xbox 360. The first theory is based on the claim that, because of the luxury the PS3’s Blu-ray storage capacity provides, textures in the Sony version are vastly superior. The Internet exploded. Wait a few weeks, however, and it was the 360’s turn to thumb its nose back at the opposition, with id Software’s legendary John Carmack stating to EDGE that the PS3 was lagging behind due to a slow rasteriser, the producer going so far as to suggest that, at the time of writing during the game’s development cycle, the 360 version was sprinting along at 60 frames per second compared to the PS3’s somewhat sluggish 20.

Judging a game based on its performance mid-stream is like calling a race with a thousand metres to go, however. Things change, technology improves, developers forgo sleep, and lo and behold, both console versions (usually) look identical when shipped. If there is one thing we’re certain of in this whole area, it’s that id’s new powerhouse engine, id Tech 5, is a monster, and, trust us, all bets are off when it comes to just what it’s capable of. If RAGE running on Tech 5 manages to liquidate your eyeballs at twenty feet with covert infrared rays in 2011, we wouldn’t be surprised.

New fancy technology is all well and good, but it’s the fact that id are introducing a new IP that has our interest especially piqued. The masters of DOOM and Quake, that they would try something different and take the risk with a new property is both welcome and intriguing. They could have just made another DOOM (they are making another DOOM), or introduced a new stagnant, vanilla FPS the masses would have likely lapped up. Not id. The guys decided to expand their lexicon a little and marry what they know best (shooting shit) with another popular genre (driving shit.)

Adding dune-buggy racing elements to a post-apocalyptic world may appear strange at first, but from what we’ve seen by way of footage of the driving aspect of RAGE, it all fits seamlessly. Sprinkle some RPG-lite garnish on top, and we may be looking at next year’s Borderlands. Not that id need the welcome comparison by any stretch of the imagination.

Plot wise, it’s deliciously simple yet enticing. After a comet slams into Earth and renders the planet inhabitable, the cryogenically frozen survivors – people deemed important to rebuild society after the proverbial dust has settled – wake up to find that other ‘people’ have also managed to outlive the blast. These folk have been less fortunate than their popsicle counterparts, however, with mutation and lawlessness now the order of the day in a shattered world unrecognisable to the genetically unmodified saviours.

It looks wonderful, it’s technically astounding, and it’s by id Software. RAGE is like finding a lost and previously unknown masterwork by a maestro such as da Vinci or Michelangelo. These guys know what they’re doing, and hence why RAGE could be one of the biggest games of 2011.

  1. Erroneus
    Wanted "Trophy Hunter" but was too late.
    Since: May 2009

    This is also one of my favorites for 2011. I saw a live gameplay demo at Gamescom 2010 and it looked stunning. I can’t wait to see the final product from the masters at ID.

    Comment posted on 17/12/2010 at 14:02.
  2. Apnomis
    Since: Sep 2009

    I’m very interested in this game mainly due to their approach to textures, if the hype is true then the environments will look absolutely stunning…

    Comment posted on 17/12/2010 at 14:35.
  3. R4U Eldave0
    Since: Aug 2008

    Looks a pretty decent game right now with some definite similarities to Borderlands. Hopefully it doesn’t make the same mistake as Borderlands and instead makes each area different enough to avoid the whole game becoming repetitive and boring.

    Comment posted on 17/12/2010 at 15:14.
  4. baggyg
    Since: Apr 2009

    Yep couldn’t agree more. Going to be massive

    Comment posted on 17/12/2010 at 16:33.
  5. beeje13
    Since: Jan 2010

    Although I know it won’t be, but if the final product on ps3 had 20fps I would not buy it, no shooter can get away with that.

    Comment posted on 17/12/2010 at 16:43.
  6. DrNate86
    Since: Apr 2010

    This is looking awesome as well! So many great games coming!

    Comment posted on 17/12/2010 at 18:50.
  7. ElGuason
    Since: Oct 2010

    i liked the way this game looked and what i saw was pretty awesome in the trailer they had so im will say it’ll be a good game!!! not that i’m an expert or anything.

    Comment posted on 18/12/2010 at 02:03.
  8. lewis815
    Since: Mar 2009

    Wow, this game looks awesome, loving this list, seeing some games I’m very interested in that I may not have come across otherwise!

    Comment posted on 19/12/2010 at 00:52.
  9. Grey_Ghost13
    Since: Aug 2009

    Another one I can’t wait for. Played the little iPhone app game thingy for it the other day, and even that looked impressive!

    Comment posted on 20/12/2010 at 14:18.

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